Health Benefits of Canoeing

Canoeing is a great way to exercise if you like training outdoors, aren’t a fan of the gym and want to try something completely different at the same time as getting fit. The sport appeals to all ages and fitness levels, can be done solo or with family and friends and has something for everyone. You can do canoeing at a competitive level or simply try it just for fun. And best of all, canoeing is a sport with plenty of health benefits.​ 



Canoeing is a low-impact activity that can improve strength, flexibility and aerobic fitness – even the most leisurely paddle can be a good workout. There is a lot of variety in the sport, with a range of disciplines, distances and types of water to get to grips with.

Here are just some of the benefits that you can experience when kayaking or canoeing:

Improved Fitness

Low impact of activities such as canoeing can help with many parts of your fitness, such as strength, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength. This is especially effective when carried out over longer periods of time, such as on trips a day or longer, and the slow and steady pace of canoeing can lead to a general improvement in overall fitness.

Reduced Risk of Wear and Tear in Joints

Again, because of the low impact of the sport, there is a reduced risk of your joints experiencing the wear and tear that activities such as running can cause. This leads you to having healthier joints later in life and makes it a great sport for those that have had lower body injuries previous to their canoeing hobby, making it a sport that you can do well into your elder years.

Improved Mental Health

The sport of canoeing is not just good for physical health, with many studies proving the benefit it has on mental health. Some research found that after just 12 weeks on a canoeing programme, participants had enhanced feelings of confidence, self-worth and adequacy, and also reported they felt better about their physical appearance.

Core Strength

The need for stability within a canoe naturally brings the enhancement of core strength, with the need for your torso to be rotated during paddling; this helps you to build your core strength alongside your upper-body strength. Having good core strength helps you paddle more efficiently and aids the balance of the boat.

Cardiovascular Health

Canoeing has also been found to be good for your heart, with a study done at Manchester Metropolitan University demonstrating the superior heart strength in canoeists. The study found that canoeists were able to pump blood around the body more efficiently. Starting canoeing may be a way to ease stress on your heart, especially in later life.

Weight Loss

Canoeing is a beneficial and fun way to shed those unwanted pounds. It’s an extremely easy way to burn calories, which varies between people due to their weight and pace they are going at.

A simple guide can be found below on weight and approximate calories burned:

Calories burned canoeing – Slow pace

Weight – Calories burned per hour (approx)

  • 59kg – 177
  • 70kg – 211
  • 82kg – 245
  • 93kg – 279

Calories burned canoeing – Moderate pace

Weight – Calories burned per hour (approx)

  • 59kg – 413
  • 70kg – 493
  • 82kg – 572
  • 93kg – 651

Calories burned canoeing – Fast pace

Weight – Calories burned per hour (approx)

  • 59kg – 708
  • 70kg – 844
  • 82kg – 981
  • 93kg – 1117

These are just a few of the benefits of taking up canoeing as a hobby, so why not get out and give it a go this weekend? We have a range of canoes for sale that are perfect to get you started.


  1. michele R Price on June 26, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    I enjoy kayaking!

  2. Ruth Curtachio on June 26, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    Helpful article

  3. Cynthia Wagner on June 28, 2021 at 3:11 pm

    Good info esp this summer!!

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